Choosing A Celebrant

choosing-celebrantYour wedding day is an incredibly special, once in a lifetime moment. You want it to be perfect. Finding the right Celebrant may take a little time, but it is worth it. Talking on the phone or meeting is always the best way to gauge how they will fit into your day.  If the Celebrant isn’t happy, helpful and engaging, then neither will your Ceremony be!  Don’t settle for a Celebrant who’s best is ‘average’.  Good Celebrants make you feel that you are in safe hands and ensure your ceremony ideas and requirements come to life.  Good Celebrants are booked out quite early in advance, so don’t leave it too late.  Without a Celebrant, the day is just a very expensive party.

How Long Does A Wedding Ceremony Go For?

Depending on your requirements, the normal time frame is half an hour.  Add in one or two readings and a ‘symbolic’ element and the ceremony can pad out to be longer.  If you don’t like standing in front of family and friends for too long, then we create a 20-25 minute ceremony while still being a gorgeous, significant moment for you.  Weddings come in all shapes and sizes, dependent on how you want it to be.  Big or small, long or short, all weddings are significant no matter what the time frame.

We Don’t Know What We Want….

You may have been to other ceremonies and have taken note of what you don’t want, rather than what you do.  That’s fine.  I love to guide all my couples through the process and work with them to create their own truly memorable event. We sit down and talk through all the detail of your ceremony; discuss what works, what doesn’t, what we can and can’t do.  Talking through your ceremony creates ideas and excitement about the day and gives you ‘food for thought’ for the ceremony itself.  Through the course of time, your creativity and plans will be brought together and you will come to know exactly ‘what you want’.

How Far In Advance Can We/Should We Book A Celebrant?

You can book your Celebrant at anytime (securing your date and time with a 50% booking fee).  Legal documentation can only be officially lodged from 18 months out, to no less than one month and one day before your wedding day.  Good Celebrants are always booked out in advance and may already have one or two other ceremonies on the same day as you have chosen.  The more time in advance you book your key items (Celebrant, Venue, Reception, Photographer), the more likely you will have your first choice in everything.

Where Do We Meet?

Meetings are held here in my office/home at Glenella Mackay.  Last evening appointment is 7pm.  Weekends are also good to meet as they are less frantic, however meeting times are dictated by actual wedding ceremonies on those days.

What Are The Legal Requirements?

1. Notice of wedding with daffodilsIntended Marriage (NOIM)  First of the legal documents.  Can be lodged with your Celebrant no earlier than 18 months out, no less than one month prior to the wedding day.  To complete this document, you are required to show original Birth Certificates and photo ID (new rule).  If you have been previously married, then your Divorce Certificate is also required.  No copies are needed and there is no requirement for the Celebrant to keep your originals.

The Notice of Intended Marriage form is signed by you and witnessed either by the Celebrant or a JP.

2. Statutory Declarations.  This will state there are no legal impediments to your marriage;  you are over 18; you are not marrying your Cousin and haven’t married someone else since your Celebrant saw you last! This should be signed 1 week prior to the ceremony or at the rehearsal.

3. Documentation on the Day.  On your wedding day and as part of your Ceremony, we will sign the Marriage Register, the BDM Marriage Certificate and the  Marriage Certificate which you will take home with you.  The other documents will be sent to Births, Deaths & Marriages in your state for processing.  You will receive an email confirming your marriage has been successfully registered and is all legal and binding.

4. Your ceremony must include 2 witnesses over the age of 18 years.

5. If previously married, original evidence of divorce or death of a previous spouse will need to be presented. If a document is not in English, an official translation, in addition to the original, is required. An interpreter is required if either of you or your witnesses do not understand English.

6. Should you require an interpreter for your wedding ceremony or witnesses, you can search for a local-area interpreter via the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI) Ltd

Couples Living Interstate or Overseas

Thinking of marrying here in Mackay or the Whitsundays?  Fantastic choice!!  Most of our initial contact will be via email, post and Skype.  Although distance keeps us from meeting face-to-face, the process is just as simple and I take care of every aspect for you, to ensure you have a very memorable time for your marriage here in Mackay or the Whitsundays.

Park Permits

Choosing your favourite outdoor venue is exceptional and lends itself to the type of ceremony you envisage.  You will need to check with the local council about booking the particular park space to ensure your exclusive use.  All councils vary in their fees, but your fees do ensure the council will have the park cleaned, mow the grass, not book any other wedding around that time and allocate you a 2-3 hour window for your use only.

We’ve Been To Ceremonies But We Don’t Really Listen…

Excellent question! And why is that???  Possibly because the PA System was not suitable for the amount of guests, too small for the area. Possibly because the words of the ceremony were dull and uninteresting. Maybe the Celebrant (or Minister) wasn’t really engaged with what they were saying, maybe they just couldn’t deliver the words professionally or with any passion.  Perhaps they simply read from a piece of paper and bored everyone to no end.  Doesn’t really make for a memorable wedding ceremony.  I guarantee you, your guests will listen – and it’s really easy to do….!

Can We Have A Rehearsal?

Yes, of course!  Preferably on site and within the week prior to the Ceremony.  Granted, if the ceremony is convenient for everyone to get to, then that’s ideal.  If not, we can simply meet where is convenient and run through the placement of people, what to do with the bouquet when it’s time to join hands, how to place on the rings, where the readers will stand.  Just so your photographs on the wedding day don’t show you with a look of shock and confusion. Think a stress-free day. The declaration can be signed at the rehearsal.

Council Says “No Amplified Music”??

Which really means – don’t turn up with a rig full of equipment like you’re about to hold a “Bon Jovi” concert.   My PA system covers the ceremony area well, all the guests can hear clearly and the neighbours won’t be disturbed.  It is a legal requirement for everyone at the ceremony to hear clearly, whether that is for 3 or 300 people, the only way to ensure this is with the PA system.

What if it’s really hot!?

Shade! We need shade! And water – for everyone. It costs very, very little to fill a couple eskies with water bottles – and there is always a couple of friends willing to help – but this small gesture will make all the difference to your guests’ comfort on the Big Day.

Always consider the Groom and groomsmen standing in their suits waiting in the hot sun. Always suggest that they take off their coats until just before the bride arrives…that way they will be comfortable, not nervous and sweating.

Rainy Days

wedding picture of bride in rain If you are looking at having an outdoor wedding, it’s a good idea to have a ‘Plan B’ indoor venue as a back-up.  There is nothing worse than spending a year working on your wedding only to have it upturned by a rainy day.  It may not be how you exactly planned it, but it will take the stress out of any last minute panic.

If rain is predicted, consider purchasing some unbrellas for the wedding party and guests and have them ready for everyone to grab.

Our parents don’t speak English!

No worries. More than half of my gorgeous couples are just like you. I have lots of lovely ideas to make your parents, guests and grandparents feel more welcome. I can even phonetically learn some words for you as long as you coach me a little.

Can you bring a signing table & chair?

Yes I am happy to but if you are having decorators do set-ups, get them to provide it as part of a package. If you need mine, and it is in an out of the way area, then I may need you to get me a helper, to carry it for me, to and from the ceremony.

What Time Will I be there on the Day?

As an example; If your guests are arriving at 3pm, the Bride is arriving at 3.15pm, then I ensure I am at the venue by 2.45pm.  I will do a sound-check with the PA system and double-check the seating, carpet, signing table, etc, are all where we expected them to be from our rehearsal/walk-through.  If not, there is still a moment to move everything into the correct place before guests start arriving.

Can I use the Marriage Certificate we receive at our marriage ceremony to evidence a name change?

No. The certificate you are presented with at the close of your ceremony is a commemorative certificate and will not support your application to change your identity documents.

Do I need to apply for a Marriage Certificate?

The marriage certificate you receive at your ceremony is a legal document however to change your name on driver’s license, bank details and passport you will need to apply for a Marriage Certificate from the office of Births Deaths and Marriages in the State in which you are married. There is a small government fee for this certificate. The standard fee is currently $51 in NSW and $42 in Qld. You will be eligible for a new passport, free of charge, if application is made within 12 months.

Packages & Prices

Your Stress-Free Wedding Package - $650


  • All legal documentation and lodgement fees with Births, Deaths & Marriages, in your state
  • P.A. System for Ceremony. PA also has ipod capacity and USB stick -you are in control of the music played. Download you own music to ipod and usb stick and bring it along to play on the day.
  • Unlimited consultations either face to face, via email or mobile phone, and as many home visits as needed.
  • Personalised Ceremony Script (created with you and for you)
  • All guidance through the ceremony process.
  • Arrival well before your ceremony to set up and ensure all is in place.
  • Commonwealth Marriage Certificate (signed on the day).
  • Professionalism and High Quality Attire, appropriate to your Ceremony.
  • Arrival well before your ceremony to setup and ensure all is in place.
  • Your ceremony beautifully delivered with elegance and articulation.
  • I will supply a beautiful Signing pen to sign all the documentation, table and chairs for the Bride and Groom
  • White tablecloth and white chair covers


wedding photo of pink flowers

    Mid Week  (Monday to Thursday from 4.30 pm) ceremonies do have a flexible fee. Let me know your plans and fees can be tailored to suit. *

    Short & Sweet Ceremony (Friday afternoon from 3.30 pm) Stress Free Ceremony $530 with legal paperwork completed on your behalf.

    *Mackay price only


For all ceremonies a non-refundable booking fee of $200 is required to secure your date, with the balance payable two weeks prior to the ceremony.

Payment can be made by direct deposit, or cash.

The best love is the kind that awakens the soul; that makes us reach for more, that plants the fire in our hearts and brings peace to our minds. That’s what I hope to give you forever.

~ The Notebook ~